So, a young friend of mine is celebrating her first anniversary today. She can't believe a year has passed and that she still loves him so much. I think it surprises people when a love that you thought was as big as it could get gets even bigger and better with time. No, I know it surprises people. Especially in this day and age of disposable everything.
having disposed of a marriage or two myself, I know this to be true. Lots of people think that I don't value marriage, that I don't hold my vows as important. Well, I do. I find them to be vitally important... but I also firmly believe that both people have to BE in the marriage to completely understand the workings of it.
People make mistakes... and in a marriage those mistakes hurt and can cause damage to the core of the relationship. Some people make the same mistakes over and over again, which makes a marriage hard for both of them, not just the "sinnee and sinner". And then there is forgiveness - some people can't forgive a marital mistake. Oh, let's not forget the dreaded "we've grown apart" excuse so many people give also. That is a hands in the air and we give up issue.
Now, I do not put all the blame on my past failures at marriage on my former husbands. I think they hold a decent amount of the blame, but I do believe it takes two to make and/or two to break. It can be as simple as "he hit me and I walked away" - two broke it, that I'm okay with. After all, being hit isn't part of the deal. It can be as complicated as "I tried to mourn and he didn't know how to help me. He got comfort from someone else and we failed to come together as a unit". Again, two broke that. Of course - this is where most people say "we grew apart". Whatever.
Anyway, I didn't want to love The Hubster. I was worried about dating him because I knew, somewhere deep, that I would love him. My feeling was that I had been hurt enough and he was too cute to not hurt me. I know, doesn't make much sense. Anyway, I do love him. Is our marriage perfect? Not by a long shot but we do try to keep the fun in it - we play, a lot. We can also be serious but those times are private and special.
Most people have hard time figuring out how long we have been married. We refer to our sons (his and mine) as our's.... well, they are. Since the oldest is over 21 and the youngest just turned 18 people often think we have been married for 25 or so years. They want to know our secret to happiness. It is fun - in case you were wondering.
Then there are the people who think we have been married for 2 or three years. They think that is why we still enjoy each other. I actually had a lady say to me "just wait til you have been married ten years, you will be happy when he goes on deployment." I replied "Well, we will celebrate our tenth anniversary in about a week so unless there is a universal shift I think I will still miss him terribly." I feel sorry for those people.
We still hold hands - something that to me is very intimate. We still hug and kiss and play. We laugh a lot. We talk - about strange things and normal things, politics, and family. We have similar goals... not exactly the same, even after all this time, but similar enough that we deal well together. We actually like each other as well as love each other - lots of people don't think this is important in the big scheme of things but it is - being friends with your spouse is vital.
Sure, we finish each others sentences sometimes and that can get irritating. We have heard each other's funny stories many times, but we laugh at the old ones and always come up with new ones. We still kiss in public - this used to irritate the kids but now they think it is pretty cool that we still love each other and act goofy.
We aren't perfect, not by any means. We still hurt each other and do dumb things. We are sometimes thoughtless and selfish but that is all part of the big picture. A small part. The big part - that is when I say "the worst day with you is better than the best day without you" and mean it. That is when he stumbles over the "I love you" because he hasn't said it in so long because he has been away. That is when, after being apart, he just holds me and I feel safe.
That is the nuts and bolts of it. That and determination, energy, fortitude, faith, and love. That is what makes us newlyweds....